Hiring? Interview Questions You Should Always Ask

Bringing on the right employees is key to the success of your business. So you should definitely take the hiring process seriously. Unfortunately, when it comes to conducting interviews, there’s often a tendency to just wing it. (We get it, you have a billion other things to do.) However, if you really want to be sure you’re making the best hiring decision, you should always take time to prepare for the interview process (maybe just as much as the candidate).

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To do this, you need to come to the interview with a list of questions in mind. The primary goal of your questions should be to assess whether the candidate has the experience, skills, and attitude needed for the job. If the position requires a motivated go-getter (say, if you hope that the person in this role will eventually grow to take on more), you should ask questions that get at overall drive and goals. And if the role requires a bunch of problem solving (say, managing the always-shifting schedules of other employees), make sure to ask questions that give you a clear picture of how the person handles binds.

While the type of interview questions will undoubtedly vary from position to position, here’s a list of interview questions that many HR managers cite as particularly helpful in assessing new hires:

  • How would you make a meaningful contribution to this business?
    What motivates you?
  • In what types of work environments do you thrive the most?
  • What types of work environments hamper you down?
  • Who was the best manager you ever had? Why?
  • If I were to contact your references, what do you think they’d say about you?
  • If you could start from scratch, what would you have done differently in your career?
  • What’s the toughest work situation you’ve ever been in? How did you resolve it?
  • What’s your work style? How do you collaborate with others?
  • What interested you about this position and this company?
    Why did you leave your last job?
  • What are the three most important skills or traits you’d bring to this job?
  • How would your past coworkers describe you and their interactions with you?
  • Where do you see yourself a year from now? Three? Five?

Ask these questions, and you’ll come away with a better understanding of what the candidate is all about. Of course she or he also needs the hard skills to do the job — but asking “softer” questions like these is just as important.

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Photo credit: “Women In Tech - 82” by #WOCinTech Chat, Flickr, CC by 2.0, cropped from original.